Sunday, 27 June 2010

Agents Provocateurs

There are only two possible explanations for the shocking spectacle that Toronto witnessed yesterday: stunning incompetence -- braindead decisions from start to finish -- or despicable calculation -- meant to fail, punish Toronto, and justify the billion-dollar boondoggle that Steven Harper's ego demanded.

Look, even Peter Kuitenbrouwer writing in the Natty Po admits it:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has something to answer for tonight. It is hard for this writer to escape the feeling that this summit was designed with every possible star aligned for ugliness to occur. The summit is held on a summer weekend, after university and high school exams are over; all the students are out and free and have time on their hands. Summer weather is perfect for a march. The summit takes place in the heart of Toronto: everybody in Canada has a friend in Toronto where they can stay during a protest.

And can we not say that assembling the greatest number of police in one spot in the history of Canada, and spending more on fences and security than Canada has ever spent before, has a provocative effect?

The authorities were following the so-called Miami Model.

First, ramp up the information war. Label protesters anarchists and terrorists.

Next, intimidate everybody but especially known leaders of protest groups.

On the day, claim 'they' started it, even if agents provocateurs have to be used or irresistible targets -- like abandoned cop cars -- left lying about.

Then, the authorities pat themselves on the back for a job well done. (This bit isn't going so well, however.)

So, incompetence or calculation? Here is David Langille, who was sitting in Fran's at College and Yonge:
As an academic and an activist, I have participated in numerous demonstrations in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America, and I have never seen such a dereliction of duty.

Normally, there are buses full of riot police right in the downtown core, ready to move at a moment's notice.

The police knew that they should focus their energies on the Black Bloc, especially so late on Saturday afternoon.

But when the rioters came smashing their way up the main street of Toronto, the police disappeared for half an hour.

Here's another vote for incompetence:
Asked whether police were slow to respond to the violence, [Toronto Police Chief] Blair said a mob had emerged from the initially peaceful protest and broke into several groups of vandals.

"It did take us some time to move our resources," Blair said.

Blair later said police are reviewing their tactics, "what worked and what didn't work as well."

And now Judy Rebick weighs in:
But it is the police that let the handful of people using Black Bloc tactics run wild and then used the burning police cars and violent images as a media campaign to convince the people of Toronto that the cost and the excessive police presence was necessary. They knew what would happen and they knew how it would happen. It is the police that bear the responsibility for what happened last night. They were responsible for keeping the peace and they failed to do it.

Me, I blame Stephen Fucking Harper for dumping this insanity on us AND the cops for coming up with this Reichstag ploy to justify it -- agents provocateurs all.


ck said...

I posted something similar at my place today, accompanied with my brother's pics and a link to a page of his g20 pics; too many to post at my place; I picked a few that would stick out more.

I am still pissed that my father who is now incapable of communicating for himself could have been turfed from his hospital bed to parts unknown for all this.

Anonymous said...

Is there video of the police abandoning the cars?

Under what circumstance did this happen?


Fillibluster said...

I also found it very strange that police stood half a block away while one of their cruisers burned merrily for the cameras on Queen St. W. No attempt was made to put out the fire for a good 20 minutes.

fern hill said...

Here's a link to ck's excellent post, which, by the way, gave me the opportunity to update our blogroll. *blush* Since December, you say?

fern hill said...

Anonymous: I've read so much about this that it would take ages to track down a link. There was a report in the MSM that at King and Bay (I think), a cop car was driven into protesters then abandoned. There's a YouTube of a protester getting into the cop car on Queen Fillibuster is talking about, showing him/her (haven't seen it) setting off the siren and speaking on the radio, then torching it.

So, like, why leave cop cars unlocked? Don't they have good stuff in there, like computers and maybe guns and ammo. Pretty suspicious.
June 27, 2010 12:29 PM

Anonymous said...

@fern hill,

Very suspicious. It seems to me that if the police officers driving the car were in trouble that they would have called for help and it would be no time before the phalanx of riot police would have surged forward to rescue their fellow officers and vehicle.

The police officer abandoning the car would probably be derelict in their duty because the importance of the weapons, ammunition, communications and computer equipment entrusted to their care. It would be a very serious charge under the Police Act. Officers have lost their jobs for much less. The cars have identification and the officers who had responsibility for the cars should be readily identifiable too. It would be worthwhile to have them interviewed.

I wonder if they were assigned to abandon the car as a temptation to the idiot vandals in the crowd, somewhat as police do in sting operations. Only in this case they didn't seem to want to arrest anyone. The motivation seems to be the desire to have a burning police car on the front page of media all over the world.

Any comments, based on fact, Chief Blair?


ol lib curmudgeon said...

Munich 1933?

ck said...

Fern, thanks for linking my post and I hope you equally enjoy some of my brother's pics. I kinda thought that pic with the yellow flyer on the abandoned streetcar was C.R.U.S.H.'s handy work. Wasn't it?

No need for blushing; better late than never and I would thank you for even having me on your blogroll to begin with.

deBeauxOs said...

Chicago, 1968?,9171,844633,00.html

Anonymous said...

Montebello 2007!


Anonymous said...

How many people actually believe that these Black Block people were protesters and not agents provocateurs? The whole thing was staged.

ck said...

outy outy outy! We've had it all wrong!! Dodo (yes,the Maria S Nunes and her faithful commenters) has solved the mystery as to who the black bloc were; why they were the NDP and the CUPE; no joke; she did two posts; commenters from the two different posts; I put them all into a short snark fest over at my place.

fern hill said...

@ck, put links in. We are totally in favour of shameless self-promotion here.

Funny, though, I was sure it was going to be David Miller the soshalist.

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